This is a significant week for Climate Change and all that it brings with world leaders and young activists like Greta Thunberg meeting in New York at the Summit to discuss these issues. So no better time for all of us really to become more grounded in the stark reality and the realisation that there is no planet B - and that the planet as we know it and as we abuse it is the only one on which we can rely. So when artists like Shirley Macnamara tells us about her journey with the earth and what it means to her, it is something that resonates and stays within.
Shirley Macnamara talking to Diane Moon
I listened to this artist who is an Indjalandji talk about her remote and isolated life in the Mount Guide and her drover husband who looked after and cared for some of the Aboriginal people there. I heard about how she learnt valuable lessons from her grandmother and other people who were important in her life and who pointed to the land and what it had to offer her. She was a painter to start with but then started looking around for another way to express her art and yes, the earth and the land become her art studio and she has not looked back.
She talks about finding spinifex as a medium for her art, how she takes the grass and strips it back to reveal the softer more pliable parts and then uses it to weave her baskets, sometimes very tightly, other times more loosely. She gathers the grasses but never too much, always remembering that she must share them with the cattle, and the land. Her other materials are feathers which she and her grandson collect, old and bleached cattle bones and the earth's ochres. They are all used to denote her connection to the land but also to remind us of its fragility and of the need to protect the environment and all it has to offer us. Her art is not expressed on a board with colours but in the loops of the weave and the careful and considered softening of the basket with the addition of galah feathers.